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Old 09-09-2010, 11:33 PM   #1
repawn
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Default 2002 WRX overheating and a wiring question

I have a 2002 - has 126,000 miles on it and has had much replaced recently. Today while stuck in traffic the temp gauge ran all the way to the red - I pulled off to a gas station and checked the oil - thinking it may be low - it was fine. I noticed that while moving the temp returned to normal - the trip home was basically watching the temp spike while stuck at a light then nearly immediately return to normal while moving. I assume the fans aren't operating for some reason while stopped - I checked the fans and they will turn on when I turn on the AC. I know others have had this problem - is it likely that it is a thermostat or the temperature control sensor - radiator was filled and drained about a month ago.

In addition - while looking for the temperature control sensor slight under and behind the alternator I noticed some sensor that stood out of the engine block that wasn't connected to anything and a wire nearby - I assume that this has been disconnected for a bit - but before I re-connect I wanted to ensure that it was ok to do so - I have attached a pic.
The sensor is nearly straight down from the passenger side of the alternator.
Any help would be appreciated - thanks.
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:42 AM   #2
repawn
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Just did some more digging around - the wire in the picture is for the oil pressure switch - not sure how long that has been off but it doesn't seem to be causing any problems - I will have to get that on after work - still not sure what the overheating issue is.
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Old 09-10-2010, 12:53 PM   #3
Ham02wrx
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i started having the same issue today and noticed that my coolant reserve tank was empty. stopped bought coolant filled the tank and the issue was less but still there in long lights stopped checked the tank again it was yet again empty so filled again and ill let ya know what happens next time i drive it but check your coolant reserve tank you might be getting low in fluid and its finally starting to affect the temp hope it helps praying i dont have to dig into the engine btw i have an 02 with 217k on it just so ya know


ok bud heres the update i just went out and ran it for 30 minutes in idle where i was having the over heating issue and once the radiator got all the air bubbles out and the coolant lvl leveled out in the reserve tank my temp is completely stable now and doesnt go up at all so definetly check your lvl do to the fact that we have a closed radiator you have to add the coolant through the reserve tank it well pull the coolant out as it needs it just let your car sit idle and keep an eye on the tank as it drops put more in but try to keep between the full and low lines i hope this works for you

Last edited by Ham02wrx; 09-10-2010 at 02:23 PM. Reason: updating issue status
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:33 PM   #4
oguitar
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repawn did your burp the coolant system when you changed the coolant?

As ham02wrx check your reservoir and make sure it is properly filled.
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:48 PM   #5
Ham02wrx
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if you watch inside your reservoir tank if it is still needing more in the system you will see it bubbling (getting the air out of the system) stay with it till it stops bubbling and your system should be done and full
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Old 09-10-2010, 05:07 PM   #6
repawn
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I'll have to take a look - it looked like the reservoir was ok - The dealership actually did the coolant - it was in the shop after a nasty accident. I drove a different car into work today. I will check the coolant tonight and see if that is the problem. Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 09-10-2010, 05:47 PM   #7
Ham02wrx
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well it can happen quick i didnt notice any issues this morning going to school didnt have the issues till i was heading home 4 hours later
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Old 09-11-2010, 09:59 AM   #8
repawn
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SO I worked on burping the system - spent 30 minutes idling after it was warmed up - heater on high etc.. nothing changed - the fluid in the reservoir never changed position at all - from cold to hot it stayed the same. The fans ran - which was good - but the temp still climbed up pretty far. The heater wasn't blowing warm air either - it worked fine the other day when I was nursing it home (had the heat on hoping that would help keep it cooler.) Any thoughts - does this sound like a thermostat issue or temp sensor?
Thanks
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:17 AM   #9
Ham02wrx
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sounds more like a possible water pump issueif your coolant isnt gettin forced through tthe system its just gonna heat up dont think its a tstat cuz your getting a temp reading but thats just my opinion granted i think a tstat is cheaper than a water pump so might wanna just go ahead and change it
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Old 09-12-2010, 05:12 PM   #10
repawn
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Since it is still overheating I have decided to do the thermostat as well as the timing belt and water pump - the timing belt hasn't been done yet so it is about time I do it anyway. Ordered one of the eBay kits and will pick up a thermostat from Autozone. I hope to get the parts this week so I can tackle it Saturday morning. Any idea on how long it should take to do? I am pretty handy and have already pulled and replaced the transmission and clutch. Thanks.
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Old 09-12-2010, 05:40 PM   #11
scoobystas
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get the 7294-170 motorad at autozone. its $13 and is a failsafe design, which stays open if it fails, allowing the coolant to circulate and cool the motor.
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Old 09-12-2010, 05:43 PM   #12
scoobystas
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btw, the reason i know this is because my radiator just gave out at 125K. it blew at the top where the plastic and aluminum come together, sprayed coolant. If you have the $, i would upgrade the radiator too. The mishimoto i got fit perfect and is working well (crosses fingers and knocks on wood
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Old 09-13-2010, 01:58 PM   #13
suby_pilot
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Exact same thing happened to me in my 02 WRX wagon w/ 128k last weekend. Replaced the tstat and flushed system with water. added new coolant. car runs fine now however a bit warmer on the gauge than it used too, but still below half. dont know why. burped system made sure all air is out. wondering if temp sensor should be replaced too.
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Old 09-13-2010, 02:36 PM   #14
ogboot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suby_pilot View Post
Exact same thing happened to me in my 02 WRX wagon w/ 128k last weekend. Replaced the tstat and flushed system with water. added new coolant. car runs fine now however a bit warmer on the gauge than it used too, but still below half. dont know why. burped system made sure all air is out. wondering if temp sensor should be replaced too.
I did my tstat about a year ago and noticed that the new subaru tstat opens a couple celsius later than the old one did. they were both stamped with the temp and the new oem one had a hotter temp that it opened at. I think it was to help the engine warm up faster or something like that.
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:24 PM   #15
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now we're getting somewhere. thanks.
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:22 PM   #16
repawn
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Just an update - replaced timing belt, not really fun, waterpump, thermostat, etc - it is all back together - but had to leave before putting in the fluid and testing it. Will do that Sunday. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 09-18-2010, 12:49 PM   #17
addamup
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good thread. same issue with mine
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Old 09-19-2010, 07:33 PM   #18
repawn
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OK - here is the update. Put the coolant in tonight - took a bit of time to get it all in - fired up the car - started right away WooHoo! No timing issues or anything - kicked the heat to high and watch the coolant go down as the air ran out and filled as it did that. Idled for 15 minutes and no more air was escaping the coolant fill point. Closed it up - drove around the block and really got the car warmed up - stopped and let the car idle - temp remained normal the entire time. So it was either the water pump or the thermostat. I will give it a longer test when I drive through traffic tomorrow morning - but I am going to call this problem solved. Thanks all for your help.
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Old 09-25-2010, 11:21 PM   #19
wagonstatus02
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im experiencing the same problem glad i found this page im hoping this helps me out
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